(Another!) Interview about my novel Victim Mentality

I know, I know, you wait ages for someone to ask to interview you then two come along at once…

Last month I was interviewed about my psychological thriller Victim Mentality, and this month I got together – via Skype due to lockdown/coronavirus ‘shenanigans’ – with the great John Fleming to talk about crime writing and stand up comedy.

We were due to talk at an earlier date but I had come down with some horrible thing – which may or may not have been Covid-19 but in the absence of a test I can’t say for sure – so we rescheduled for a time where I could actually talk properly and wasn’t feeling as though I might keel over.

So, without further ado, here is the interview.

Well, OK, technically that’s just the link to the interview, not the interview itself. But let’s not be pedantic about this.

(tuts British-ly)



Interview about my novel Victim Mentality

Every so often, I get interview requests about a book I’ve written or a ‘thing’ I’ve acted in.

This month I was lucky enough to be interviewed by Lieze Neven of The Write Way, about my psychological thriller Victim Mentality!

It’s short, but – I like to think – sweet.

You can read it by clicking here, or if you prefer, click on the book cover below and that’ll take you there instead. Always good to have choices, I find. Wow, this is a long link.


The Cos Michael Foundation


Just under two weeks ago, my good friend Cos Michael passed away after a two and a half year battle with cancer.

I know ‘battle with cancer’ is a cliche, but that’s most certainly what it was. He fought it with everything he had and was determined to live as well as he could, as long as he could.

His courage, bravery, and determination to spend as much time as possible with his wife and son will always be an inspiration to me.

A foundation is being set up in his name, with the money raised going to the incredible charities who gave him so much support and care when he needed it. Please do donate and share if you can.


The Smalls Lighthouse Tragedy

This is a story about a lighthouse, which might make it sound quite tame.

It isn’t.

As someone who writes psychological thrillers, I find it fascinating to read about true crime and unexplained mysteries – everything from people disappearing into thin air to being found dead in seemingly impossible circumstances. This story isn’t any of those things – none of it is unexplained and technically no crime was committed (as far as we know).

But it’s still a horror tale worthy of Edgar Allan Poe.

Prologue aside, let’s get into the story of Thomas Howell, Thomas Griffith, and the tragedy of Smalls Lighthouse.

The Smalls Lighthouse

The Smalls lighthouse was built in 1776, on a collection of rocks about twenty miles off the coast of Wales (known as The Smalls).

Back then, lighthouses weren’t the solid, cylindrical structures that we see today, shooting up into the sky and towering over their domain.  The Smalls Lighthouse was essentially a rickety little hut, suspended above the ground on massive stalks which jutted out menacingly like the legs of a gargantuan spider.

The ceiling of the lighthouse hut – the body of the huge arachnid – had a trapdoor leading up to the lamp, which gave the keepers easy access without having to go outside and brave the elements. There was also a short shelf running around the perimeter of the hut – surrounded by railings – which allowed the keepers to undertake any repair work on the exterior when necessary. It was all very self-contained, mitigating the need for the keepers to go outside in heavy storms.

The original spider legs were quickly found to be too weak, so work was done to reinforce them.  The massive arachnid now had a suit of armour.

If only the lighthouse keepers had been as protected.

Thomas Howell and Thomas Griffith

The only thing Thomas’ Howell and Griffith had in common was their first name.

Once installed as lighthouse keepers, they immediately took a dislike to each other, spending hours arguing and fighting. Physical altercations and scuffles soon followed, often in public houses where other patrons would hastily make their escape to avoid the scene. The two men couldn’t agree on anything, clashing on even the most mundane and inconsequential of topics. The animosity was clear to everyone.

Which is why, when Thomas Griffith died in the lighthouse one night (either in a freak accident or through illness – the records are unclear), Thomas Howell knew he would immediately be under suspicion of murder. The whole world knew they hated each other – Howell could already hear the accusations flying that a fight had gone too far and he had killed his colleague.

His solution?

Keep the body in the lighthouse so that when he was eventually rescued – storms howled around the lighthouse by this time so it was impossible for him to simply leave – it would be clear from examining the body that there had been no foul play. If he disposed of the body into the sea or by some other means, there’d be no way of proving his innocence.

So, Howell decided to live with the corpse of Griffith, which from the records we have was a very short lived solution. And, without getting too descriptive, how could it be anything else?

Sharing a cramped hut with a person you hate is one thing, but sharing it with a rapidly decomposing body is quite another…

The Corpse Problem

Howell needed a different solution.  After considering his options, he devised a plan worthy of MacGyver.

Howell was a cooper, which meant he was accustomed to building huge wooden barrels and manipulating the material to fit a specific shape. So he collected various pieces of wood from around the hut and managed to build a makeshift coffin for his former colleague.

Once it was finished, he hefted his former colleague inside – Griffith had not been a small man – and then dragged the wooden box onto the lighthouse shelf. Once there, he secured it to the railings so as to ensure the heavy winds would not result in the very occurrence he was trying to prevent – the body disappearing into the sea and Howell’s innocence being disputed.

Satisfied with his ingenuity and craftsmanship, he hoisted up a distress signal, knowing it was only a matter of time before a rescue boat would arrive.

In the meantime, with the coffin was securely affixed to the railings, Howell got back to work.  He toiled to keep the lighthouse functioning as best he could, essentially doing the work of two men.  He scurried up and down the trapdoor to the lamp, maintaining it and ensuring that it continued to light the way for mariners so as to avoid any disasters.

The plan worked. It worked perfectly.

Until it spectacularly didn’t.

The storms ratcheted up in intensity and ferocity, battering the lighthouse and totally decimating the wood of the coffin.  The hastily-constructed box couldn’t was no match for the elements, and in no time splintered planks were scattered into the sea and dashed onto the rocks. At first Howell must have been terrified that Griffith’s body would be swept away too – the only proof of his innocence blown into the ether. Perversely though, this fear would have turned to relief and then immediately back to fear as he saw that the corpse didn’t go anywhere. The wood had been destroyed, but the ropes between the railings had somehow twisted tight around Griffith, holding him fast to the railings on the outside shelf.

The hut’s window suddenly became a widescreen television showing a decaying corpse in real time.

To add to the horror, the body was positioned in such a way that every so often the howling wind would catch one of the arms, making it look as though Griffith was waving to his old sparring partner.

This went on for a while. And by ‘a while’, I mean four months.

Let’s think about that for a moment.

That amount of time would take the body through the ‘fresh’ and ‘bloat’ stages of decomposition, and well into the ‘active decay’ stage. I’m not going to describe any of those stages – mainly because researching them has made me feel pretty sick – but the names of them should give you a good idea as to what Thomas Howell would have been looking at for sixteen weeks.

Imagine being trapped inside a rickety hut tenuously perched on battered wooden spider-legs as the storms raged just outside.

Now imagine the same thing, but with the inclusion of a decaying corpse which you couldn’t avoid looking at – both directly and peripherally – from every angle of your prison.

And don’t think that closing your eyes would help either. Just because you weren’t looking at the body, doesn’t mean that the body wasn’t looking at you…

Why did nobody try to find Howell and Griffith?

This question has a pretty simple answer. They did.

Attempts were made by teams on numerous occasions to get to the lighthouse and find out just why the distress signal had been hoisted.

The problem was that every time the boats approached the lighthouse – in raging storms, let’s not forget – they would see the same thing. The lamp was lit as it should be, there were no signs of boat wreckage or other indicators of any incident, and everything looked as though it was in perfect order.

Oh, and all the potential rescuers mentioned another thing which made them think all was fine. Every time they got close, they saw the silhouette of a man resting on the outer shelf. In fact, every so often, they saw him give a cheerful wave.

What happened to Thomas Howell?

After finally being rescued, unsurprisingly Thomas Howell was not himself. Close friends who saw him after the incident apparently failed to recognise him. You can understand somebody looking a bit different, or maybe appearing slightly anxious or stressed, but Thomas Howell looked and acted like a completely different person. Such was the physical and emotional damage that had been inflicted upon him.

Now, it is here that my psychological thriller writer instinct kicks in, and asks a question that has been suspiciously absent from the records of this event.

What if Howell did kill Griffith?

What if they did have one final argument which went too far? Or – as records show that Griffith was the bigger of the two men – what if Howell poisoned his colleague? How hard would it be to add non-edible items to food in close quarters?

Sawdust, mould spores, lamp oil…?

History tells us that Howell was decimated by the events that followed Griffith’s death, but what if Howell was guilty of that death?

Maybe this isn’t a horror story after all, maybe it’s a crime story where the killer got immediate, terrible justice?

We’ll never know.

And in the absence of further evidence it’s probably kinder to assume that poor Thomas Howell was an undeserving victim of horrific circumstance.

But does that make this real-life horror story better, or worse?

Sleep No More Angelo Marcos

Sleep No More is a psychological thriller about a young woman whose vivid nightmares begin leaching into reality, causing her to doubt her own mind…

Click here to find out more

Free crime stories!


From today until Sunday 6 May, my collection of short stories – One Good Turn – is FREE on Amazon.

Seriously – you don’t have to pay or barter or anything.

Click here to get a copy!


I wrote One Good Turn as a collection of three separate but interlinked short crime stories, all set in London on the same fateful night. The stories are:

You’ve Got a Friend

Mark is on nightshift duty on the You’ve Got a Friend Helpline. Unfortunately for the callers, his idea of help is very different to theirs.

One Good Turn

Two young tourists in London find themselves on the last train out of the city, and begin to wonder if they’ll ever get to their hotel…

Fare Game

An illegal cab driver picks up an old, confused man and offers him a lift home. It’ll be a journey they may well regret.

“In any given city, lives will intersect. In both good ways and bad.”

Click here to get your FREE copy of One Good Turn!

Our Cyprus – The Premiere

So last week was the official premiere of Our Cyprus, a short film I acted in which was directed by Alkin Emirali and co-stars Andy Lucas.

Without giving too much away, the film is set in modern-day London and tells the story of two men – a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot.  The film looks at what happens when two opposing views collide.

Our Cyprus was part of the Euro Shorts International Film Festival, and was screened along with four other short films.

Anyway, this is what happened…

Before the Screening

I actually got there pretty early as I was meeting a friend, although as you can see from the picture below, the crowds must have known I was going to be in one of the films as the cinema was crazy! Look at them all queuing up around the block!

I’m pretty sure I could even make out a couple of placards saying ‘Angelo is great’ too. If you squint you can probably see them.

(You have to squint quite hard…)

And the adoration didn’t stop there either. I walked away from the cinema to avoid getting mobbed and a couple of fans ‘accidentally’ sat right next to me. Look at them! Shamelessly staring at me!

The fan love was getting too much at this point.

Having that many people grabbing at you and wanting autographs and photos can get quite dizzying, let me tell you.  I nearly went home.

The screening

OK, so all that about being mobbed was obviously nonsense.  Back in, well, reality, the screening itself went really well.

I’ve never watched something I’ve acted in on a cinema screen and with an audience, so it was quite surreal to be honest. I also hadn’t seen the completed film at this point either, so I was watching it for the first time along with everyone else. Fortunately the film was very well received, and a lot of people seemed quite moved by it too.  I won’t spoil anything, but at the end of one scene a lady sitting behind me audibly gasped!

Once all five films had been shown, there was a short Q and A with the directors, and I also made a brief appearance:

After the screening

After the films were all screened and the Q and A had ended, I was of course accosted by all my fans again. For anyone who thinks that being a world-famous celebrity is fun, look at the photo below.

They wouldn’t leave me alone!  Just let me have my drink in peace, people!  I’m just a man!


Our Cyprus will continue to be screened at other film festivals across the UK, and potentially abroad.

The best way to find out about these screenings is by joining the Facebook group, as all updates will be posted there.